As a professional photographer that spends much of his time on the road working in extreme environments, I have found the use of a Professional Services Program to be integral to my various photography businesses over the years. As a Canon shooter previously, there were many times when I had to take advantage of CPS (Canon Professional Services) to help me fix a broken lens, expedite my shipping and turn around a repair in short order (within a few business days) because I was leaving for another project or marketing campaign.
When I became a Sony Ambassador and solely began using Sony camera gear earlier this year, this was one point of contention that I had with my choice. However after multiple conversations with Sony Product Managers, my worry was gone as I knew this day was coming. Today Sony announced their Pro Support services program. Lets talk a bit about what that means…
As Sony Imaging has continued to grow and take the photography industry by storm over the last two years, it has been working hard behind the scenes to not only make sure that pro photographers have the cameras and lenses they need, but the customer support as well. Both Canon and Nikon have offered professional services programs for years that help support those that have chosen to invest in their camera brand by giving them the highest level of profession support they can. This has typically involved rushing camera & lens repairs, optional loaner gear when need and discounts on out of warrant repairs. I can tell you from personal experience, getting a discount on the repair of a $4000 camera is very much appreciated!
Pro Support Program Benefits
Here is a break down of what the Sony services program includes.
- Welcome Kit
- Dedicated phone support
- Expedited turnaround time for repair service
- Repair facilitation loans
- Access to loan equipment for evaluation purposes
- Free camera maintenance services
- No out-of-pocket shipping expenses
- Discounts on out-of-warranty repairs
Unlike Canon’s CPS and Nikon’s NPS, Sony doesn’t force you to own over $15,000 worth of gear. Here are the requirements to join the program:
- Owner of two (2) Sony Alpha Full Frame Interchangeable Lens Cameras and three (3) Sony ZEISS™ and/or G-Series Lenses
- $100 annual membership fee
- Active professional photographer (self-employed or member of professional imaging business)
A Game Changer?
While Sony just announced this program, it has in fact been running in BETA during a testing period for some time. Myself and other Sony Ambassadors have been able to take advantage of the Pro Support program for the last few months and needless to say I am impressed. Not only because I now have top notch professional support for my gear, but because of the size and scale of Sony. While Nikon has had horrible reviews for its NPS program in the US, Canon’s CPS counterpart has been top notch (speaking from personal & professional experience), however it has been regulated to the region you are apart of because of the size of the company.
Sony on the other hand is a MUCH MUCH larger company with repair and service centers all over the world. Historically if I broke a Canon lens in Iceland or Thailand, I couldn’t do anything until I got back to the US. What if I had the ability to get a it repaired on the road or if I could of had a loaner sent to me while working in the middle of a project? While Sony’s announcement today is simply focusing on the US market, it is only a matter of time before we all get world wide support. To me, that is a game changer!
For more information on Sony’s PRO Support Service program or to formally apply, visit (www.sony.com/PROServices).